We have moved with urgent diligence to build the new Medal of Honor museum here in South Carolina. Our community was selected as the designated site by Congress in 1999.

In just four months, we have engaged top professionals in the areas of feasibility, fundraising, budgeting, sustainability, events, marketing, website and social media. In addition, we have formed the framework for the process through three energetic boards to deliver this important national museum from its current home on the aircraft carrier Yorktown to a much more appropriate land-side facility.

In the process we also have engaged museum experts. Our charge is to make it all matter substantively: to our military, to our schoolchildren and to the coming generations. Most of all, the facility should stand as the beacon of American patriotism. We believe that we have a chance to rediscover the sense of patriotism that began with our forefathers and has lived on through these brave recipients.

There have been 3,507 Medal of Honor recipients. Our task is timely. We feel that we can, on many levels, reunite this country to the purposes of liberty, individual achievement and selfless service to others. We believe that this museum can change hearts and minds. But to succeed, we need to build it wisely and sustain it in perpetuity.

There are only 71 living recipients of the Medal of Honor, the highest award of valor bestowed upon our military. They are passing away all too quickly. For that reason, we plan to open this museum on July 4, 2023. That’s less than four years away. Our sense is that the museum experience should engender the same sense of duty and selflessness these great American heroes have recorded in their service to protect our many freedoms. Let there be no doubt that though this museum will become a national landmark, it will be this community and this state that will meet the challenge of its completion.

Our organization will ensure that this project will become a point of pride across the Charleston area. But we will need your help. Please consider going to our website, nmoh-hf.org, and supporting our effort with your tax-deductible contribution to preserve the culture exhibited by the Medal of Honor recipients. You may also be interested in joining our Founder’s Society; its instructions are bannered above the home page.

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We have the passion. We will not spend corpus funds on anything other than the designs, plans, permits and labor and materials to accomplish the completed product. Our board also has reached out to those who have given in the past. We will allow full credit to those who have previously donated because it’s the right thing to do.

We intend to sew patriotism back into the tapestry of America. And that tapestry could become “One America” in the process.

Retired Marine Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston is a Medal of Honor recipient and chairman of the national advisory board. W. Thomas McQueeney is chairman of the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum.